Houstonia caerulea

Other names: Little bluet, Azure bluet, Quaker Ladies, Innocence

Family: Rubiaceae (Madder Family)

Range: Native to Eastern Canada (Ontario to Newfoundland), and the eastern US (Maine to Wisconsin, south to FL and LA, and scattered in OK.)


Native Habitat: It thrives in moist acidic soils in shady areas, growing especially well in grasses, and prefers part shade.

Bloom time: April to July


These flowers are some of the earliest signs of spring, and can be seen in the city (most of my pictures come from my neighbor’s lawn here in Portland).   It’s fortunate that they come out fairly early, because if they’re mowed before they set seed, they won’t come back.     Fortunately, they come up at the same time the grass is greening, so that’s rarely a problem.

Apparently, the Cherokee used an infusion of this flower as a cure for bed wetting.    

Locations in Photos:

My next door neighbor’s lawn.

My father’s lawn in Ellsworth, ME

Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME

Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, Boothbay, ME


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